Situated astride the equator between latitudes 3°30′ north and 5° south, and longitudes 11° and 18° east, the Republic of Congo (RoC) covers 342,000 km2. It is limited to the west by Gabon and the Atlantic Ocean, to the north by Cameroon and the Central African Republic, to the east by the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Angolan enclave of Cabinda and to the southwest by the maritime facade open to the Atlantic Ocean which extends over 170 km.
Forests occupy approximately 65% of the national territory and savannahs nearly 35%. The cultivated area (arable land and permanent crops) is 240,000 ha, or 0.7% of the national territory.
Vegetation It is made up of two vegetative formations: (i) the forests which cover approximately 22 million hectares or 60% of the national territory or 10% of dense African humid forests and (ii) the savannahs which cover the center of the country on approximately 12 million hectares. These savannahs are herbaceous, interspersed with gallery forests in the lowlands and along watercourses.
The very varied soils are mainly hydromorphic soils and ferralitic soils which occupy a large part of the national territory.
Congo has around 10 million hectares of arable land of which less than 10% is developed.
Congo has a vast hydrographic network which is favorable to agricultural exploitation. On its territory alone, there are at least 30 rivers navigable all year round and organized around two main basins: the Congo River basin in the north and that of the Kouilou-Niari in the southwest.
The agricultural sector employs around 40% of the population, but only contributes 4.8% to GDP, and 1 to 2% to exports. It is essentially based on family farming representing around 80% of the cultivated area and ensures more than 90% of national agricultural production. At the same time, urbanization has accelerated. To date, more than 70% of the population lives in urban areas, compared to only 30% in rural areas. As a result, the active agricultural population is in regular decline. As a result, the sector is experiencing real difficulties in ensuring food self-sufficiency.
The main crops are: (i) cassava which represents 60% of the cultivated area, (ii) banana, corn, peanuts, potatoes, sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, vegetables and oil palm which represent 40%.
Animal production (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry) is negligible.
Despite these numerous natural assets, the agricultural and pastoral performance of Congo to meet domestic food demand based on small family farms in rural areas must be organized around high productivity work processes. In recent years, experiments have been carried out on different farms to improve crop productivity against climate change.
• Population: 5,726,518 inhabitants (Ministry of Planning, 2021)
• Official languages: French, Lingala, Kituba
• Administrative organization: 12 departments, subdivided into 88 sub-prefectures.
• Main economic resources: oil (85% of exports)
• Massive imports of foodstuffs (more than 600 billion FCFA/year);
• Chronic malnutrition among children under 5 years old: 28%
• Poverty: 51% of the population
• School enrollment rate: 95%.
General Directorate of Agriculture
National Center for the Fight against Crop Diseases (CNLMC)
National Center for Improved Seeds (CNSA)
Agricultural Technology Extension Center (CVTA)
Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center (CDTA)
National Center for Soil Studies (CNES)
The National Agricultural Study and Research Institute (INERA)
Website available in English
The National Agricultural Study and Research Institute (INERA) is DR Congo’s principal agricultural research agency; the Institute falls under the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and focuses on crops, livestock, forestry, and fisheries research.
Twenty public agencies conduct agricultural R&D in DR Congo. The National Agricultural Study and Research Institute (INERA) is by far the largest and employs close to half the country’s agricultural researchers.
Marien Ngouabi University (public):
- National Higher School of Agronomy and Forestry
- Sciences and technologies Faculty ;
- National Polytechnic School
Denis Sassou Nguesso University (public):
- Faculty of Sciences
Free University of Congo (private):
Protestant University in Congo (private):